Police: Section 8 housing scam took advantage of Hispanic immigrants

Posted: Updated:

Stamford police are searching for victims of an alleged Section 8 housing scam that took advantage of local Hispanic immigrants.

Police say they've been hearing about this scam for years, but haven't had any victims come forward until recently. They say Juana Medina-Deayala worked with a New York man to prey on people looking to get to the top of the housing list. Victims would pay $3,000 to help them secure below-market price housing through the federal Housing Choice Voucher program, but police say it was all a scam.

"This has been going on for at least 3 years so we have a good feeling there are a lot of other victims out there," says Sgt. Steven Perrotta.

So far, police have arrested one person believed to be responsible. Medina-Deayala recruited potential victims from a salon that she worked at on Richmond Hill Avenue, authorities say. Seven people initially complained to police, but only four were willing to give an official statement. Police say the others backed out over concerns about their immigration status.

Medina-Deayala has been charged with larceny, conspiracy to commit larceny and tampering with a witness.

"We want to assure people that if they've been victimized in the city of Stamford, their immigration status is not a concern of ours," says Sgt. Steven Perrotta. "We want to make sure they're made whole financially and that they get justice."

Anyone else who may have been a victim in this case is asked to contact the police department's Financial Crimes Unit at 203-977-4407.


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